Vibrating smart shoes that tell you where to turn could be the future of footwear when an Indian company's prototype goes on sale in September.
The new Bluetooth-enabled shoes, dubbed Le Chal from Ducere Technologies, synchronize to an app that calculates a wearer's fastest route to a location and then buzzes along the way to indicate turns, according to the New York Daily News
. The device also has a shoe insert that can turn any pair of shoes or sneakers into a GPS.
"Ever imagined your shoe being your guide to your workplace, college, neighborhood park, or a shopping mall?" the company posited on its Le Chal blog in May. "They say nothing is impossible and technology and its unfathomable power keep surprising us time and again." http://lechal.com/blog/
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"Le Chal, which simply means 'take me along' (lay-ch-al), in Hindi is developed with the vision to offer products that are intuitive and unobtrusive, facilitating every user to evolve to higher lifestyles, reaping the benefits of making technology work for them," the shoes' creators, Krispian Lawrence and Anirudh Sharma, said in the blog post. "It is the world's first interactive haptic footwear, innovated in India and designed for everyone."
The Wall Street Journal said Ducere Technologies will begin selling
the shoes in September for about $100 a pair. The technology will use Google maps to guide its users from destination to destination by vibrating when it's time to turn.
The company originally created the shoes to assist visually impaired walkers who used canes, but quickly realized the benefit for the general public as well, particularly those who are unfamiliar with locations like tourists and joggers, according to The Journal.
"The shoes are a natural extension of the human body," Lawrence, 30, told the newspaper. "You will leave your house without your watch or wristband, but you will never leave your house without your shoes."
Lawrence told The Journal that Ducere has already secured 25,000 orders and hopes to sell 100,000 pairs of the shoes by next spring.
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